“The mood of a warrior calls for control over himself and at the same time it calls for abandoning himself” – Don Juan
Over these past few days, many in Texas have been called to be something more than they thought they were. Those who trembled in fear and then ventured forth in faith, saw something unique and transcendent emerge.
You could call a crisis a course correction, a cleansing, or a call from the creator that says to come another way. Everyday heroes answered the call to rescue those stranded. Caravans of neighbors loaded with relief supplies crowded communities. Expressions of compassion flowed across the state and a vast movement of prayer flew over the miles. Old connections were rekindled in concern, new friendships formed.
It’s not that nature chooses to teach us through such terrible means. The core of change is a process that comes about in a myriad of ways. Yet when we are faced with suffering of this magnitude, an opening is created. Many have chosen to expand who they are in that opening. Most have even found their way to gratitude.
What we will be rebuilding in the days ahead is not only the material. Texas will be knee deep in mining the character of the people we are, supportive and steadfast. For when hearts are opened, the path becomes clear. People come together as one glorious expression of life.
What are you Grateful For?]]>
Somewhere along the way of life, I learned not to set my compass by the winds that blow through my days. Whatever the season, whether one of sadness or celebration, I remind myself to take time to stand clear of the chaos, to go within to rest in prayer.
Moments of bliss occur when you rest with your attention on the Creator. This is the blessing of being truly present, connecting deeply with all that exists. To live in a state of pure awareness only requires willingness. When you are willing, the unchanging flow of life comes to you. This inexplicable undercurrent rises up and unites with the current of everyday life. The result is a remembering – you remember the truth of your authentic self, the eternal self. The essence of the awakened self cannot be described in language that can be understood by the mind. It can only be accessed by the heart.
The language of the heart is Love. The process of being willing, of creating an opening for the eternal, of allowing the holy spirit to enter is a transmutation of what changes to what can never change, what will never change. To know that level of Love, to live from that level of Love is so extraordinary! And then the extraordinary becomes the ordinary. Yes, what once was the impossible becomes the obvious.
How do you find your bliss?
Savor the Moment…
“All of life is a constant turning in on itself in the very process of birthing more of itself into being.” – Geralyn Gendreau
A great spiritual teacher once told me, life yearns for itself, all movement is toward wholeness.
To bring about change beyond change, big evolutionary change, requires a dismantling of the old paradigm. Our task is to discern what will not serve us going forward; to walk away from what won’t work anymore. In the process, we become divided between who we once were and who we will become. The division that we live cradles the opportunity to shift, transform and become the next best version of ourselves.
Many years ago, I practiced the martial art of Aikido. In Aikido, you never resist your opponent, you strive to redirect his energy. As you unite with his force while it is moving, using your intent, higher vision and devotion, the flow of energy shifts. In choosing not to counter opposition with obstruction or aggression, alchemy occurs.
When we are called to action, can we join forces with what is moving forward, rise and contribute to the change being birthed? Can we use what we see before us to open our hearts with compassion? If the process of life changing doesn’t look like we expect, can we stop trying to make sense of what can never make sense and move on toward wholeness?
A segment that I saw featuring the renowned spiritual teacher, Michael Beckwith stayed with me for months after the show aired. In his profound wisdom, the reverend reminds us that a solution does not lie in focusing on the problem at hand. Instead, he tells us to walk toward the possibility, to enter the potential and he calls upon prayer as the tool to help get us there.
For now, the dual world we must bear reminds me of the Hindu Goddess, Kali who is both the destroyer and the creator of life. There can be violence in the task of transformation, sometimes even the divine is ruthless.
What are you moving toward?
Savor the moment…
“Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place” – Casting Crowns
“Take a moment. In this moment, you have no responsibilities, you answer to no-one other than yourself. For this moment, go to the place where time disappears. Let go of whatever you are holding heavy on your heart. We don’t need a lot of anything, just a soft, full breath will bring the blessing. In this moment, all is well.”
And so our journey began in Sedona by hearing these timeless words from our Yoga instructor, Mally at Awakenings Yoga. Dennis and I shared much rich conversation during this trip on the topic of making Sedona our home for the next chapter of life. Like many souls of our generation, we are coming to the crossroads of creating a future that will be dramatically different from the past.
It takes courage to keep asking ourselves the big questions. What can we afford? Who do we want to be with? Where and how do we want to spend the rest of our lives? And then there’s the really big questions… What are we willing to let go of? What do we truly want to embrace? How can we serve?
After all the years of going to Sedona, the essence of that sacred place has become enmeshed in my being. Dennis and I never leave there as the same people who arrived. With each visit, we are poised for the next version of healing. Sedona burns away the shields that cover up our psyches and like snakes in the grass, we shed yet another skin. The pattern is one of purging, releasing, returning to the void to be re-created. Only then do we crawl out of the darkness and re-emerge.
I am reminded of a mystical dream where I rose from the ground, emerged as an embryo moist with the mud of my earth mother. What I find is that when I am in Sedona, what is worthy of being born is being fed. Yet when I ask to be shown the path that lies ahead, the woman within knows the only way to truly embody what I seek is to give myself over to the unfolding of what will come.
How do you know where you belong?
Savor the moment…
Beloved Blog Followers,
It is my joy to share with you the extraordinary opportunity I received to speak about my book “Permission to Rest” in an interview on Unity radio last week. My writing mentor, Janet Conner is the weekly host of “The Soul Directed Life” and brings spiritual writers from all over the globe into the homes and hearts of Unity listeners. If you are unfamiliar with Unity radio or Janet’s Soul Directed Life show, I invite you to browse the archives and listen to some of her podcasts. To give you an idea of the caliber of writer Janet typically interviews, the week before my show, she sat with Thomas Moore, the modern mystic who has authored many bestsellers, including “Care of the Soul.”
My heart is brimming with gratitude for all the love and support of my work that I continue to receive from so many sources. I send love and light to each and every one of you.
To hear a recording of the show, follow the link below:
Savor the moment…
“Who is not afraid of pure space – that breathtaking space of an open door? But despite fear, one goes through to the room beyond.” – Anne Morrow Lindberg, Gift from the Sea
Walking by the water has always been cathartic for me. The beach is the place I have come for decades to mull over decisions, stretch my sights forward and seek the quiet whispers of answers to life’s mysteries. Today I spied a lone seagull watching me, observant, almost suspicious. Buoyed by my past successes by the sea, I returned the gaze with a brazen stare.
But this day was different somehow. Instead of answers rising up, memories tumbled out, like my life was an overturned cup. Before me I glimpsed the young girl who dreamed of adventure, the mother who brought her babes to play along the shore at sunset and the woman who leaned into the warm kiss of her one true love while the ocean nodded in approval. Thinking of days gone by with the roar of the waters filling my ears, a ping of pain hit my heart like an arrow and I let the waves have their way with me. The vessel that held the happenings of yesteryear was being emptied, becoming vacuous and bare.
Despite a blazing summer sun, a shower of primal green rain born of the blue sky appeared overhead. I had the sense I was being cleansed from above and below, purged, purified and prepared for what was yet to come.
Walking and walking and walking some more, I had the thought that this practice was active rest, an oxymoron to some, a welcome respite to those who know the reverie the gulf has to offer. The current comes and goes with a liquid chant, creating a dreamlike humming that is heaven sent.
My mind travelled to the edge of a metaphor likening the changing waters to life, twisting and turning me about, rising to grab and pull me under when I least expect, the tide taking me along a path of its own doing. I saw myself diving deep to bring back a gem of wisdom from the sea and cradle the insight like a pearl in the palm of my hand. Instead, I chose to sit and rest. I chose to allow the wind and the clouds and the sea to mesmerize me.
Soon the cacophony gave way to silence in the soft center of my being. There I waited peacefully to become the next version of myself. While I lingered in the stillness, the gull turned and looked back at me. With the sweep of a royal emissary, she flew off toward her destiny.
What comes to you when you walk on the beach?
Savor the moment….
“Whenever new life grows and emerges, darkness is crucial to the process. Whether it’s the caterpillar or the chrysalis, the seed in the ground, the child in the womb, or the True Self in the soul, there’s always a time of waiting in the dark.” – Sue Monk Kidd
Ever since we returned from our extended overseas travel, I haven’t felt like I fit in my life. Some have told me it’s not unusual to have trouble re-entering the everyday world after being immersed in the mystical energy of ancient lands. Even so, I was feeling empty inside and sank into a funk, sans meaning or motivation. Before long, a malaise settled upon me like a sorcerer’s spell. I came to dwell in a dry patch of life that plunged me down into the dark desert of my soul.
This morning I read the parable of the stream in “An Ordinary Life Transformed,” by Rev. Stephanie Rutt. The little stream sometimes struggled when it flowed past rocks and roots along the way. Such obstacles might pose a delay, yet in time could be conquered. When the water came upon the desert, no amount of effort would overcome the sinking of the stream into the sand. Soon the water became nothing but a trickle unable to flow across the parched land. Only when the stream became still did it rise up into the air, transformed through evaporation into cumulous clouds filled with rain. When the rain fell, the stream once again became fluid and reached the other side of the desert.
We are conditioned to use effort to stay on our path in life, to power through the rocks that land on our road. Even those of us walking the road less traveled hope our spiritual practice will soldier us on through whatever comes our way. To sit still and wait in the dark when we start to sink, trusting that in time we will be transformed takes courage indeed. For me, it feels like losing myself in the uncertainty of what I cannot possibly know. Here I stand humbled to the process of stillness, reminded that true rest is a total surrender. Only when we give ourselves over completely, will we emerge anew.
What do you do when you come upon a desert?
Savor the moment…
“We bring our humanity into that space of strangeness where darkness sometimes gives us the power to see.” – Sarah York, Pilgrim Heart
Wandering between the worlds has become a past time for my husband Dennis and me. We go deep inside the well of spiritual nourishment with our meditation time, studying the wisdom of the masters and connecting with the abundance of nature. Then we wake up smack dab in the middle of a very physical human existence. Someone needs to take out the trash, pay the bills and cook something for dinner. We struggle at times to navigate our way to and fro between the spiritual and earthly life.
When visiting our daughter who just became a stay at home mom, she voiced her need for structure and routine. I had a quiet giggle thinking of how our darling six months old granddaughter will alter my child’s best laid plans. It seems to me that the secret to thriving exists outside the edges of a linear life in the tall grasses, the unseen and the surprises. Life was meant to be bent into, like a stream that flows its own way. But how do we learn to move with ease from spirituality to physicality, from structure to surprise?
Taking time to linger and rest between tasks is a bridge that allows one to travel effortlessly around the curves along the path of life. When we rest, we develop the capacity to see under the surface of circumstance, to meet challenge with flexibility and aplomb. In turn, we develop an attitude of welcoming whatever life has in store for us.
In essence, we are meant to be our own bridge to the great beyond, to find that mysterious place within that connects the worlds we traverse. Today, I give myself permission to rest, to linger there on that bridge between the worlds and sway with the winds in harmony.
What bridge are you crossing?
Savor the moment…
“You have more abilities than you know. Discover your full palette. Take a break and beckon a breakthrough.” – Tama Kieves, Inspired & Unstoppable
Last night I amazed myself by stirring up some homemade candy bark with flower essences. This was my first foray into concocting candy and a creative endeavor way beyond my comfort zone. Making candy with sugar soaked roses, culinary lavender and hibiscus crystals was an entirely new undertaking. Where the inspiration came from was a mystery until I recalled lounging with my Victoria magazine. Something about seeing a beautiful bounty of flowers in print spoke to me and my confection was born.
Sometimes our passions are slipping past us in the subtlest of places. If give the chance, our hearts have the power to by-pass our minds just long enough to allow inspiration to enter. To be inspired is to be in spirit, then discover what’s in store for us.
One of my favorite resting practices is to sit quietly as I leaf through a magazine. The on-line version of this diversion is Pinterest and yet I prefer the palpable enhancement of touching the text, turning pages with my fingertips, and the smell of glossy paper in the air. A chance to linger with the photo images in one’s lap possesses its own kind of magic. Our intuition glimpses a snapshot that in turn kindles a fire we may not have known was ready to burn. Serendipity takes hold in a flash and a surprise creation emerges.
What inspiration has rest brought to your table?
Savor the moment…
“Faith is our small but necessary offering to any new change or encounter” – Richard Rohr, The Naked Now
The past and the future slip across the screen of our inner eye and we glimpse the comings and goings of who we once were and who we may someday be. While we brave each day with what looks on the outside to be business as usual, inside the storm brews, the winds blow and we wait to see what is left of us when the dust settles.
There is a tension between what we hold onto and what we let go of. Sometimes that grip feels like a shadow peering over us or a lost soul we have to shake off to stay sane. We work our thinking minds overtime with incessant questions. How? When? Should We? If only? Will we ever?
Suspended at the crossroads of reality, life becomes a process of lifting layers off of us. When we rest, the superfluous coverings we have hidden under are slowly stripped away, and we commune with the core that never changes.
The whisper I hear tells me that what will come can not be foretold… only revealed in divine time. But here in the silent stillness of restfulness, insights do rise up and allow us to gently touch what is eternal.
Can you feel your reality shifting?
Savor the moment…